How to Become a Nebraska Notary
The Nebraska Notary Process:
Are you interested in becoming a Nebraska notary? Are you interested in generating extra income, starting your own Nebraska notary business, adding a notary title to your resume, or helping people in your community? The state of Nebraska appoints notaries to serve the public as unbiased impartial witnesses to document signing. Becoming a notary in Nebraska is a straightforward process, and as long as you meet the eligibility requirements listed below, you can apply to become a Nebraska notary. The American Association of Notaries has been helping individuals become notaries since 1994.
This guide will help you understand:
- Who can become a Nebraska notary
- The process to become a Nebraska notary
- Basic Nebraska notarial duties
What are the qualifications to become a Nebraska notary?
To become a Nebraska notary public, a notary applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 19 years old.
- Be a resident of Nebraska, or a person who resides in a state that borders Nebraska if such person is employed in or has a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- Not have been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud or dishonesty within the previous five years.
What is the process to become a Nebraska notary?
To become a Nebraska notary public, a notary applicant must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements provided in the previous section.
- Request a test from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office.
- Pass a written take-home test to obtain a notary public commission.
- Answer all questions on the application form.
- Submit the following items upon passing the test: (a) a completed and notarized “Initial Application for Notary Commission”; (b) a $15,000 surety bond; (c) a completed “United States Citizenship Attestation Form”; (d) a $30 commission fee (payable to: Nebraska Secretary of State or Notary Division); and (e) a completed and notarized “Evidence of Employment in Nebraska Form” (non-residents only).
- Use this address to submit the application materials: Notary Division, P.O. Box 95104, Lincoln, NE 68509-5104.
All application materials can be found on the main Notary page, or visit the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office at https://sos.nebraska.gov/business-services/notary-public or click here.
Can a non-resident become a notary in Nebraska?
Yes. A non-resident may apply to become a Nebraska notary public (NRS §64-101 and 433 NAC 6.004.05). A non-resident must:
- Reside in one of the following states bordering Nebraska: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, or Wyoming.
- Be employed in or have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- Satisfy the same qualifications as Nebraska residents, setting aside the residency requirements.
- Submit an application form and follow the same application for appointment process and procedures as Nebraska residents, including obtaining a $15,000 surety bond.
- Submit a completed and notarized “Evidence of Employment Form” with his or her initial notary application.
- Submit a written explanation with the “Evidence of Employment Form” if the applicant is self-employed.
- Provide the street address, city, zip code, business address in Nebraska, a business work telephone number, and an email address (optional).
- Continuously maintain a regular place of work or business in Nebraska.
- Relinquish his or her notary public commission if the non-resident notary is terminated or ceases to have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska by returning the commission certificate and notary seal to the Nebraska Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to become a notary in Nebraska?
A Nebraska notary applicant’s expenses may include the following costs:
- a $30 filing fee to process an application for appointment as a notary public;
- a $30 filing fee to process an application for reappointment as a notary public;
- a $15,000 bond;
- an official ink stamp seal;
- a journal if the notary wishes to comply with the recommendations of the Secretary of State to record all notarial acts in a journal; and
- an E&O insurance policy if a notary wishes to purchase one for his or her personal protection against liability.
How do I renew my Nebraska notary commission?
A Nebraska notary public may apply for reappointment as a notary public within thirty days prior to the commission expiration date. A notary public must complete a renewal application and follow the same application process and procedures as the initial application for appointment as a notary public, which includes obtaining a new $15,000 surety bond and paying a $30 commission fee. A renewal application that is received after the commission expiration date will be processed as a new appointment as a notary public and would require the applicant to take the take-home exam again. All application materials can be found on the main Notary page. If a notary public is also renewing his or her electronic notary registration and/or online notary registration, the notary must meet all the legal requirements for such registrations and pay all the required fees. To initiate the commission renewal process, go to the Secretary of State’s website at: https://sos.nebraska.gov/business-services/notary-public.
Are there any exams or notary courses required to become a Nebraska notary public or to renew my Nebraska notary public commission?
Yes. All new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public are required to pass a written take-home examination available and administered through the Secretary of State. The Notary Public Examination shall consist of questions relating to laws, procedures, and ethics, and it is intended to determine whether the applicant has the reasonably necessary knowledge, experience, and competency to engage in and perform the duties of a notary public. If the applicant fails to pass the first test, the applicant will receive a second test automatically. If the applicant does not pass the first two tests, the applicant must wait six months before requesting the third and final exam. If the applicant fails to pass the third test, the applicant will not be eligible to take the test again or receive a notary public commission. An applicant must score 85% or better to pass the exam. The written examination will be an open resources test sent to the applicant upon receipt of the $30 fee and a completed application. The passing exam score shall be valid for two years from the date of the examination. If a passing exam score is not used within two years, the applicant only has the remainder of prior attempts left to retake the exam (NRS §64-101.01 and 433 NAC 6.006).
What is the process to become a Nebraska electronic notary public?
Nebraska enacted the Electronic Notary Public Act effective July 1, 2017. In addition, the Nebraska Secretary of State adopted and promulgated rules and regulations (Electronic Notaries Public—Title 433, Chapter 7 of the Nebraska State Rules and Regulations) to implement the Electronic Notary Public Act.
Nebraska notary statute and regulations dictate that a person seeking an electronic notary public commission must:
- take a course of instruction approved by the Secretary of State and pass an examination relating to electronic notarizations;
- have a valid Nebraska notary public commission;
- register to be an electronic notary public with the Secretary of State;
- ensure that the registration specifies the technology the notary public intends to use to perform an electronic notarial act;
- ensure that the technology provided by an electronic notary solution provider is approved by the Secretary of State; and
- pay the $100 registration fee.
The Secretary of State must approve the electronic notary’s electronic seal and electronic signature, and such must be independently verifiable and unique to the electronic notary public. An electronic notary public may renew his or her electronic notary public registration at the same time he or she renews his or her notary public commission. “An electronic notarial act shall not be performed if the signer of the electronic document is not in the physical presence of the electronic notary public at the time of notarization and is not personally known to the electronic notary public or identified by the notary public through satisfactory evidence as provided in section 64-105” (NRS §64-308). All Nebraska electronic notaries are required to maintain a journal for every electronic notarial act they performed. All the same rules, standards, practices, and regulations that apply to a traditional paper notarization also apply to an electronically signed document including, but not limited to, the personal appearance before the notary public. An electronic notary’s electronic signature and electronic seal must only be used for performing electronic notarial acts. An electronic notary public must safeguard his or her electronic signature, electronic notary seal, and all other notarial records and must not allow them to be used by any other notary public or any other person (NRS §64-310).
What is the process to become a Nebraska online notary public?
A commissioned notary public in Nebraska may register as an online notary public to perform online notarial acts if authorized by the Secretary of State. A notary public must take a course of instruction relating to online notarial acts and pass an examination approved by the Secretary of State before registering as an online notary public. The Online Notary Public Registration must include:
- The notary’s legal name as it appears on his or her state driver’s license, identification card, or voter registration name (if no driver’s license).
- The completed Online Notary Public Test (under the Emergency Regulations) provided by the Secretary of State’s website.
- The online notary solution provider the notary public intends to use in performing online notarial acts.
- A certification by the notary that he or she will comply with the standards under Section 64-407.
- A $50 filing fee.
- An email address for the notary public.
Upon approval of the applicant’s Online Notary Registration, the Secretary of State transmits an Online Notary Certificate of Registration by email to the online notary public. The term of an online notary’s authorization to perform online notarial acts begins on the authorization date set by the Secretary of State and terminates on the notary’s commission expiration date. An online notary public may renew his or her online notary public registration at the same time the notary public renews his or her notary public commission. The online notary public renewal registration must specify any change in the technology the online notary public intends to use to perform online notarial acts. To perform online notarization, please refer to the Secretary of State’s website: https://sos.nebraska.gov/business-services/notary-public.
How long is the term of a notary public commission in Nebraska?
The commission term of a Nebraska notary public is for four years commencing with the date specified in the notary public commission. However, a notary’s commission may be rendered void by: (1) resignation, (2) death, (3) revocation, (4) when a notary public is no longer a resident of Nebraska during his or her commission term; (5) when a notary is no longer a citizen of the United States; (6) when a non-resident notary is terminated or ceases to have a regular place of work or business in Nebraska; and (7) when a notary has been convicted of a felony or crime involving fraud or dishonesty.
Is a Nebraska notary bond required to become a notary in Nebraska?
Yes. A surety bond in the amount of $15,000 is required for all new applicants seeking an appointment as a notary public and renewing notaries. The surety bond must be: (1) signed by an agent with an incorporated surety company as surety; (2) filed and approved by the Nebraska Secretary of State; (3) conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office of notary public; and (4) sworn to before a notary public (i.e. the applicant swears he or she will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Nebraska and will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform the duties of the office of notary public). If any person shall be damaged or injured by the unlawful act, negligence, or misconduct of any notary public in his or her official capacity, the person damaged or injured may maintain a civil action on the official bond of such notary public against such the notary public, and his or her sureties, and a recovery in such action shall not be a bar to any future action for other causes to the full amount of the bond (NRS §64-109).
Do I need a Nebraska notary errors and omission insurance?
An errors and omissions insurance policy is optional in Nebraska. The American Association of Notaries strongly recommends that Nebraska notaries obtain an errors and omissions insurance policy for their personal protection against liability. Errors and omissions insurance is designed to protect notaries from liability against unintentional notarial mistakes or omissions that result in financial or other types of loss to the public or if a client sues a notary public for recovery. An E&O policy customarily covers legal fees and damages based on the coverage a Nebraska notary selects.
Where can I perform notarial acts in Nebraska?
A Nebraska notary public has statewide jurisdiction and may perform notarial acts in any county anywhere within the geographic borders of the State of Nebraska (NRS §64-102). Likewise, a Nebraska notary public may not perform notarial acts outside the state of Nebraska.
Who appoints Nebraska notaries public?
The Nebraska Secretary of States receives applications for appointment and reappointment as a general notary, electronic notary public, and online notary public and administers the commissioning process for all these types of notaries. Contact information for the Nebraska Secretary of State is as follows:
Nebraska Secretary of State
Business Services Division
1201 N. Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
PO Box 95104
Lincoln, NE 68509-5104
Telephone: (402) 471-2558
Fax: (402) 471-4429
Do I need to purchase a notary stamp in Nebraska?
Yes. Nebraska notary statute requires all notaries public to authenticate all official acts with an official ink stamp seal (NRS §64-210). Section 64-210 does not provide the legal specifications regarding the layout, ink color, shape, design, and measurements required on all official ink stamp seals.
Required Elements: A notary public shall provide and keep an official ink stamp seal, which shall clearly show, when stamped, impressed, or affixed to a document, the following elements:
- The words "State of Nebraska”
- The words “General Notary” or “General Notarial”
- The name of the notary public as commissioned
- The commission expiration date
A notary must obtain a new official ink stamp seal each time the commission is renewed, and the new seal must include the new commission date. The official stamp seal should be secured and only accessible to the notary public regardless of whether or not another business or entity paid the notary application fee, bond, or seal (433 NAC 6.002.02).
Is a notary journal required in Nebraska?
No. The Nebraska notary statute does not require Nebraska notaries public to record the notarial acts they perform in a journal. However, the Secretary of State highly recommends that every notary public maintain a journal of his or her official acts. To assist Nebraska notaries in recording their official acts, the Secretary of State has provided an example journal on its website: Notary Journal. In addition, the American Association of Notaries encourages Nebraska notaries to maintain a permanent, paper-bound journal with numbered pages to create and preserve a chronological record of every notarial act performed as a protective measure against allegations of fraudulent notarial acts and official misconduct. For Nebraska notary supplies, visit the American Association of Notaries website at www.usnotaries.com, call 800.721.2663, or click here.
How much can a Nebraska notary charge for performing notarial acts?
Nebraska notary fees are set by state notary statute (NRS §33-133 and 433 NAC 6.008.04). The maximum allowable fees that a Nebraska notary public may charge for notarial acts are listed below:
- For taking an acknowledgment - $5.00
- For administering an oath or affirmation - $2.00
- Verifications upon an oath or affirmation- $2.00
- For taking affidavits and applying a seal--$2.00
- For each protest - $1.00
- For each notice of protest - $2
- For each certificate and seal - $5.00
Note: For each mile traveled in serving a notice of protest, a notary public may charge at the rate established by the State Department of Administrative Services. “An employee of the state or its political subdivision may not charge the fees prescribed in this section if his or her governmental employer paid the commission and bonding fees required of notaries public” (NRS §33-133).
What notarial acts can a Nebraska notary public perform?
A Nebraska notary public is authorized to perform the following notarial acts (NRS §64-107 and 433 NAC 6.001.07):
- Take acknowledgments
- Administer oaths and affirmations
- Take verifications upon oath or affirmation
- Witness or attest signatures
- Note protests of negotiable instruments
- Take depositions
- Issue summons and command the presence of witnesses for depositions in civil lawsuits (NRS §64-108)
How do I update my address with the Nebraska Secretary of State?
A notary public must notify the Secretary of State of any change of his or her residential address no later than 45 days after such address change (NRS §64-105.04). A notary public must update his or her address by completing and submitting the “Notary Public Request to Change Record” form provided on the Secretary of State’s website. The information provided on the change-of-address form must include the notary public's name as it appears on his or her commission, the date the commission expires, and the notary public's new address. No fee will be assessed for updating address information (433 NAC 6.005.02B). To download this form, visit the Secretary of State website at https://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/form-notary-application-for-change-of-record.pdf. “Every notary public removing from the State of Nebraska shall notify the Secretary of State of such removal. Such a removal shall terminate the term of his office” (NRS §64-112).
Do I have to change my name on my notary commission in Nebraska?
Optional. A Nebraska notary public whose name is legally changed during the term of the notary’s commission may continue to act under his or her original notary public commission, seal, and name until the expiration or termination of such commission. The bond given by such notary public shall continue in effect, regardless of such legal change of name of such notary public, if the notary public uses the name under which the commission is issued (NRS §64-114). However, a notary public may change the name on his or her notary public commission by submitting to the Secretary of State the following items: (1) a completed “Notary Public Request to Change Record” form; (2) a bond issued under the new name; and (3) a $30 fee (433 NAC 6.005.01B). Upon receipt of these items, the Secretary of State will assign the notary public a new notary public commission with a new expiration date. Then, the notary must purchase a new notary seal with the new name and the new commission expiration date. To download this form, visit the Secretary of State website at: https://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/form-notary-application-for-change-of-record.pdf.
Nebraska notarial certificates:
Click here to view your state's notarial certificates.
Revised: May 2020
Legal disclaimer: The American Association of Notaries makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this page. Information this page is not intended as legal advice. We are not attorneys. We do not pretend to be attorneys. Though we will sometimes provide information regarding federal laws and statutes and the laws and statutes of each state, we have gathered the information from a variety of sources. We do not warrant the information gathered from those sources. It is your responsibility to know the appropriate laws governing your state. Notaries are advised to seek the advice of an attorney in their state if they have legal questions about how to notarize.
Notary bonds and errors and omissions insurance policies provided by this insurance agency, American Association of Notaries, Inc., are underwritten by Western Surety Company, Universal Surety of America, or Surety Bonding Company of America, which are subsidiaries of CNA Surety.